6 food myths we busted in 2015

It’s not easy figuring out what constitutes a healthy diet, especially when you can read different things in the media about what is good for you. Here we debunk 6 popular food myths to help you make the right choices.

1. Chocolate is good for you

Chocolate bars on a plate

Sorry folks, there’s no easy way to break this to you. Chocolate is not your friend. Yes cocoa beans do contain polyphenols and there’s some evidence these help reduce blood pressure and have antioxidant properties.

But – and this is a big but – chocolate is also high in sugar and saturated fat, and laden with calories. 

2. A healthy diet means no cheese

Cheese face 

Cheese, cheese, glorious cheese. It tastes so good. Where would pickle be without cheese? What would become of the cheese and ham sandwich? Well, a ham sandwich, but you get the gist.

While cheese is high in saturated fat and salt (boo hiss), it’s a good source of protein and calcium (tick). As long as you eat it in moderation, it can be part of a healthy diet.

3. I don’t have time to eat my 5-a-day

Rainbow of fruits and vegetables  

Eating five portions of fruit and veg every day – that’s 35 per week – seems like a startlingly large amount. ‘Who has time for all that peeling, chopping and boiling?’ you might ask, but there are plenty of quick and easy ways to include your 5-a-day in delicious recipes that needn’t be expensive.

4. Eating lots of fruit & veg will make me put on weight

Fruits in a bowl 

“Hang on,” you say. “Don’t fruit and root vegetables contain sugar?” Indeed they do, but unlike sugar from foods like sweets, chocolate and biscuits, it comes with lots of nutrients which can have a positive effect on your health. Plus, they are full of fibre, which helps keep your digestive system healthy.

The kind of sugar to worry about is “free sugar” - any sugar that is added to foods by the manufacturer, plus that naturally present in honey, syrups, and fruit juices.

5. It’s okay to splurge at Christmas

Christmas dinner

This time of year with all the Christmas parties, mulled wine and dinky, little cocktail sausages, it’s easy to ignore that squishy bit around your middle – it works for Father Christmas after all!

But, extra fat around the waist, in particular, increases the risk of high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes, which, in turn, increases your risk of cardiovascular disease. You can have the odd treat, but remember moderation is key. 

6. Butter is better

Butter 

There’s been lots of debate in the media about whether butter should be considered healthy, but there’s no doubt that butter is high in saturated fat, which can raise your cholesterol levels, so restrict yourself to small amounts and use alternatives for everyday eating.

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